Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Utah Concealed Gun Permit Honored in Other States

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As we now know, on Monday, June 28, the United States Supreme Court held up that the Second Amendment guarantees Americans that their fundamental right to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed by state and local governments. 

Before this victory for the Second Amendment, Utah already had what might be called its own “cottage industry” in place regarding guns and licenses. It comes in the form of a concealed weapons license and its reciprocity with other states. A Reuters article of June 28 commented:

Spurred by fears that U.S. President Barack Obama will add gun control to his already crowded domestic agenda, denizens of the once-wild West and other Americans are snapping up firearm permits. Some 90 million people in the United States have an estimated 200 million guns.

Utah makes it easy, and thousands have enrolled in classes promoting its concealed weapons license to people from other states, many of whom have never been to Utah and never intend to go there.

Salmon, Idaho, resident Bruce Smith just took an Idaho-based Utah permit course that would let him carry in Idaho, Utah, and 31 other states. Course provider Ericsson Investigations on its Web site promises to teach laws, gun safety, and "the combat 'mind set."

"I'd hate to be without backup," Smith said. The course did not include shooting a gun but did show how to load one.

A five-year permit good in 33 states has flooded Utah with applications, with the number rising to 74,000 last year. The fee is $65.25. Applicants must also clear a background check, be 21, and take a course.

Unlike Texas and other “gun-friendly” states, Utah does not require permit classes to be based in Utah. The Reuters article continues: “Utah's licenses are valid in more states than most, too. Idaho permits are valid in only four other states — one eighth the number with which Utah has agreements,” and adds that, “Not all states are happy with Utah's plan. Western neighbors New Mexico and Nevada in recent months have revoked recognition of Utah's licenses because it doesn't oblige applicants to train with a handgun or even fire one.”

In states other than Utah, such as Colorado, Montana, Idaho. and Texas, concealed-carry permits are additionally in high demand.
America’s Founding Fathers could not forget the events of April 19, 1775, with the British marching to Lexington and Concord to look for gun and ammunition stores of the colonists, intending to remove them and leave the colonists defenseless. Second Amendment proponents assert that therefore, through the Constitution, the Founders intended U.S. citizens to always have the protection of law over their right “to keep and bear arms.” Citizens of the United States were not to be so threatened by their government again, and would not be if they had their own personal firearms. Another talking point has been that the Japanese, when asked after World War II why they did not attack the American continent directly, and specifically the West Coast, had to reply that they knew most every home had a gun in it, and such an attempt would be futile.  

In an apparent realistic spirit of such past and present times, the mayor of Salmon, Idaho, spoke for many. “Obama and all of them are just trying to take away our rights,” declared John Miller. “I believe in guns. Idaho, Montana, all the Wild West states — we're not giving up our guns."
Utah’s concealed gun permit has been a help towards many Americans similarly exercising those rights.    

Photo: Protesters from southern California join a rally for support of the Second Amendment during the "Restore the Constitution" rally at Fort Hunt Park in Alexandria, Va. on April 19: AP Images

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